We've been getting so much great feedback about our Simple WiFi Repeater Kit, thanks to everyone for coming back after the installtion to share your experience during installation and setup. We are taking in all your comments and making our version 2 even better!
In this post, I'd like to explore in a case study format how Simple WiFi was able to help Chris get internet from his home to a shop about 230ft away.
Here was Chris' first ticket submitted to our help desk:
1st thing, I'm not a computer guru, everything I know about WIFI I learned on your website last night.
I'm trying to get internet in my shop, metal building about 230 feet from my house. I'm thinking I need an external antenna and usb adapter at the shop. Problem is if I stand outside my house in line of site with shop with WIFImeter (phone app) I'm getting -70 to -80 dbm. The router is on the opposite side of the house, if I go on that side of the house its -40dbm. The router was installed by Comcast xfinity cable company and has no antenna port. I'm afraid if I move router to other side of house I won't get good reception in the office where it currently is.
Let's tackle this first by dissecting what the scenario is and why Chris can't get a signal inside his shop.
1. The router placement at the hotspot (his house). The router/gateway provided by his ISP, Comcast is placed on the opposite side of the house from where he needs signal. He is getting a reading of -80dBm while standing on his porch from the router on the other side of the house. Essentially the house is blocking signal from reaching the shop and even the signal on the other side of the house is barely making it.
2. The distance. While 230ft is not very far for our long range antennas, it is far enough to degrade any usable signal inside the metal shop (more on this in the next point) and it's made worse by the router's placement.
3. The metal building. We already know that walls, trees and other solid objects block and degrade signal strength and quality. The worst of all is a metal building since this essentially acts like a faraday cage and reflects all radio signals from making it inside effectlively.
4. Wireless internet for multiple devices. Chris stated he was looking at an external antenna and USB adapter but this only provides internet for one computer at a time via the USB port. Using a WiFi repeater kit we can repeat the signal wirelessly and provide internet for multiple devices at once.
In summary Chris needs to setup a long range WiFi repeater outside his metal shop which will connect to a router inside via ethernet cable. The antenna outside with the repeater will perform the wireless bridge to connect to the router from the house and bypass the metal walls of the shop via the ethernet cable into the router. The router inside the metal shop is now broadcasting the signal directly from the outdoor antenna and repeater.
For this we suggested The Panel Hotspot Repeater Kit which includes everything he needs to get this working without messing with the home router. The antenna is a 14dBi directional panel which can be mounted on a pole. This is powered by the repeater bullet which screws directly onto the back of the panel. The kit also includes 50ft of ethernet cable which plugs directly into the bottom of the bullet and into the router inside the shop. Once powered up and configured the router is then repeating the signal from the house.
Needless to say Chris was able to get the Panel Repeater Kit installed and working with a signal improvement up to -72dBm compared to no signal at all. While still not an excellent signal, this is good enough to perform web browsing, email, social media and some streaming on at least one device. However this is very impressive since he is now getting a stronger signal 230ft away from where he was originally getting readings on his back porch.
Should Chris want to get a better signal he would need to place an external antenna on the house where the signal is coming from in order to bypass the walls as the signal makes it's way to the shed.
Here are some pictures Chris sent and the message attached after the installation:
I received the kit and installed it today. Signal strength is a little weak maybe (-72dbm) but it's working so far...sending this email from my shop which thanks to you now has internet access.
Thanks for all the help!
Thanks again to Chris for the pictures and the feedback. For everyone else, feel free to let me know if you have any questions by emailing Support@SimpleWiFi.com or by submitting a ticket.